American Born Chinese (2023): Season 1, Episode 2 - A Monkey on a Quest - full transcript

Jin is pressured to make a statement after an offensive meme video of him goes viral.

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[in Mandarin] Your landing…

…needs work.

That's my style.

[in English] Come. Walk with me.

Practice your English.

[Wei-Chen sighs]

[Wei-Chen speaks
Mandarin, stammers]

[in English] W-Why are we here?

I want to know exactly
what it is you're up to.

I'm on a quest

to try and stop Niu Mowang and his
uprising against the Jade Emperor.

And naturally, this quest led
you to a high school on Earth?

[Wei-Chen] I know it seems
crazy, but I had a dream.

A crane appeared and told me a guide
will help me find the Fourth Scroll.

All I have to do is
take a leap of faith.

[Guanyin] You said you
heard it from a crane?

- Yes.
- As in, uh, Big Bird?

Pretty big.

And did this crane also tell you to
steal jīn gū bàng, your father's staff?

Uh… no.

That was my idea.

I need it to unlock the scroll.

Are you keeping it safe?


This is not to be taken lightly.

The limit of its powers are unknown
and dark forces will be looking for it.

Trust me.

[Wei-Chen sighs]

Mmm. Also, find a
better hiding place.

Why is it you and your father always
insist on hiding things in your ears?

Guanyin-púsà, do you think I'm
making a mistake pursuing my dream?

Do you?

No. I don't.

Then I support you.

But I want you to know it will
be difficult and dangerous.

Tell me more about this guide

who will successfully lead
you to the Fourth Scroll.

His name is Wáng Jìn.

But he doesn't know
he's my guide yet.

And how do you know
he's your guide?

Just a feeling.

Then you will have to find
ways to gain his trust.

Not many mortals will
follow a monkey on a quest.

How do I gain his trust?

Try becoming his friend.

And remember, the fate of your
world hangs in the balance.

- Guanyin-púsà.
- Hmm?

I'm ready to go back.

Go back?

We never left.

[horns honking]

I just needed to make sure
this is what you really wanted.

What is this?

Welcome to your new
home. [chuckles]



Oh, uh, sorry, it's pizza
boat day today actually.

- A boat of pizza?
- No, it's…

Actually, I'm not sure why they call
it that, 'cause it is just pizza.

Okay. Go. Eat your boat.

But tomorrow you
eat my food, huh?

Thanks, Mom.

- Morning, Dad.
- Morning.

Jin, about your soccer, maybe
you should try out again.

- See if they will give you another chance.
- That's not really how it works, Mom.

Well, you could at least say something
instead of just accept the decision.

- Go talk to the boss.
- Coach.

Yeah, I meant coach.

If you don't speak up,
nothing's ever gonna change.

[both slurp]

[students chattering]

[Jin] Hey, Wei-Chen.

- Hi, Jin.
- [chuckles] How are things?

Yeah, good, just getting
used to my new apartment.

Actually, I just found all those
Kugo Ren comics I told you about.

No way, that's awesome.

Um, actually, speaking of which…

this is a really nice
gift, but I just,

I feel kind of weird taking it
'cause I know it's from your dad.

Jin, you're my new friend.
I want you to have it.

You should come over after school.
I can show you all the comics.

[Travis laughs]

Actually, um…

I don't really have much time
for comics and stuff right now.

It's just, I got a lot of
other stuff I gotta focus on.

Oh, okay.

Plus, you know, last
week was kind of rough.

I just gotta make things right.

But we should definitely hang.

Thanks again and that
thing's, like, really cool

with the secret
compartment and everything.

- Catch you later.
- Bye.


Is that the, uh,
new Swamp Thing?

I read it too.

It's... I wasn't, like, a super
huge fan of the character design.

You're kidding, right?

Before DC handed over the
reins to Mike Perkins,

Swamp Thing looked like the
Grinch with a bad comb-over.

- Yeah, I knew that would get you.
- Okay, screw you, dude.

Okay, um, I'm really sorry.


Didn't make it on
to the team, huh?

Screw you. Ow. [chuckles]

No, no. I did not make
it on to the team, but…

I-I just miss hanging
out with you, dude.

I miss talking comics, having you
disagree with all my opinions.

Well, it's easy when you're
wrong about everything.

How you holding up
after last week?

I'm fine. [sighs]

I feel like people are gonna, like,
get over this thing eventually, right?

It depends on a
couple of factors.

So, like what?

Apparently, Osito Valley vandalized
one of the hallways over the weekend,

so people might be
talking about that today.

[scoffs] I hope so.

Also, some things just move quicker
through social media than others.

For example, Baby
Yoda's still trending.

As he should.

But nobody's talking about Vin
Diesel's dance song "Feel Like I Do."



Okay. Well, I hope I'm frigging
Vin Diesel and not Baby Yoda,

'cause I'm gonna talk to the coach
and try to get him to, like...

I wanna prove to him that I
deserve a spot on the team.

- Tell him I'm not gonna be a distraction…
- [protesters chanting]

- [Suzy] Who does it start with?
- [protesters] Just us!

- What do we want?
- Justice!

- Who does it start with?
- Just us!

Yeah, you're Baby Yoda.

Jin, so glad to see you.

Please know that you have the
full support of the Culture Club.

As president, I can assure you we will
not stop until we find out who did this.

Uh, no, that's not necessary.

- What do we want?
- [protesters] Justice!

- Who does it start with?
- Just us!

- [protesting continues]
- This is crazy, right?

[sighs] Crazy beautiful.

- What do we want?
- Justice!

- Who does it start with?
- Just us!

- What do we want?
- Justice!

- Who does it start with?
- Just us!

- What do we want?
- Justice!

- Who does it start with?
- Just us!

[whispers] Psst. Yo, Simon.

- Oh, morning, Patrick.
- Yeah.

[whispers] Why
are we whispering?

[normal voice] I don't know, actually.
Just... Just having fun at work.

So, listen, uh, the boss is in
the break room doing small talk.

We should go.

[groans] I have work to do.

Come on, man.

Come on. You said you wanted
more face time with him, right?

Now's your chance.

Plus, you gotta get in there
before Bozo McDingdong does.

- Okay.
- Yeah.

Who's Bozo McDingdong?

[laughs] Oh, yeah.

I mean, hey, if you're talking
meat, boss, I'm your guy.

Okay, let's hear it.

Two words. Reverse sear.

Slow and low for six minutes,
then blast it for three.

- Bob's your uncle.
- Wow. Maybe I should just hire you.

- [chuckles]
- [laughs]

Anyone watching NFL football?


[boss] I am, Simon. I
saw the Niners game.

How's your fantasy?

[stammers] Fantasy football. He's
talking about fantasy football.

Oh, right. It's… [chuckles]

I'm in first place. Won it
last year too. [chuckles]

- Took home 12 hundo. No big deal.
- [boss] Wow. That is a big deal.

[coworker chuckles] I'm actually
in two leagues this year.

Maybe you can give me some pointers.
My QB might be out for this season.

[coworker] Okay, don't
even worry about that.

Popular players
don't always perform.

That's the thing. People like
scooping up the QBs in the beginning…

- [Suzy] Hey, Jin, can I have a word?
- [Jin] Hey, Suzy, uh, sure. What's up?

So, people are really rallying
around this meme incident.

We're starting a movement.

I even have an in with the
editor of the school paper.

Aren't you the editor
of the school paper?

Yes, but I like to go
through the proper channels.

I realized what we truly
need is a statement from you.

Uh… A statement from me?

Look, this is an important
issue to the Culture Club.

But we can't do anything
unless you lead the way.


Uh, I'm sorry, Suzy, I can't.

Hi, Suzy.

It's Wei-Chen from school.

Hey, Jin. How have you been?

Hey, I… Good. What's up?

Not much.

- Did you do anything this weekend?
- Uh, yeah.

Um... Oh, my dad was gonna
teach me how to drive,

but then he was
busy, so he didn't.

So, no, actually. I'm not
sure why I-I said yes.

Well, I, um… I just
wanted to apologize.

For what?

Well, you... you sort of asked to
hang out, and I felt kind of bad.

Like maybe our conversation
distracted you and…

No! No, no. It's fine.

It's fine, and I'm fine,

and I-I don't want you to
feel bad about anything ever.

She totally does, though.

By the way, we think whoever
posted that meme is so messed up.

Also, BTS is, like, my favorite
band in the whole world.

- Ruby. [whispers] Stop.
- [Ruby] What? It's true.

Thank you. Um...
But, guys, it's fine.

I think this whole thing's just
gonna blow over any minute. Right?

[Suzy] Attention, everyone.

Culture Club would like
to make an announcement.



I don't speak for my
race. I speak for my face.

I didn't ask to be Japanese,
but look at me, please.

Time to spare? Time to speak!

Silence is complicity,
shaking my head weak!

Now, I'd like to bring up
someone to make a comment

about the recent online attack.

Wei-Chen Sun!

Fellow students, I'm Wei-Chen.

Today I want to speak to you
about my friend, Jin Wang.

He's a smart and a special boy.

Also, he has good humor and
athletic body for sports.

Like Jin, I am Chinese.

So, an attack on him
is an attack on me.

That's why I fight for him.

Now is the time for justice.

And justice starts with just us.

[protesters] Just
us. Just us. Just us.

One more thing.

Not only is Wei-Chen
defending his friend,

he has also helped us
identify the perpetrator.

- See for yourselves.
- Oh, God.

Pause the video at six seconds

and zoom in on the reflection
in the trophy case.

It is clear as day.

It's Greg Wallace!

It's Greg!

[protesters] Just
us. Just us. Just us…

[Suzy] This is bullying.
It's an attack.

Greg must answer for this.

Just us. Just us.
Just us. Just us.

["Blaze of Glory"
playing on car stereo]

[singing along]



[continues singing along]


- [groans]
- [lowers stereo volume]


John, hi.

Uh, I normally park over there.

This something you do often?

Uh, I n... usually
work through lunch,

but today I have
to do something.

Listening to Bon
Jovi at full blast?


Here, I wanna show
you something.

I'm sorry for the
disturbance, John.

I just found this in
an old box of photos.


You look good.

Thank you. I think so too.

My wife begs to differ.

This was the Slippery Tour, '87.

- Wow.
- Ah.

I went three nights in a row.

- [chuckles]
- Three times.


Jeff Beck's solo. Turn it up.

Um, okay.

- [raises stereo volume]
- [guitar solo playing]

Uh, hey, Jin.

Hey, Greg.

- Where to?
- Uh, just PE.


Look, I just... I wanna let
you know, you're a good guy.


Yeah, and you know I'm
a good guy too, right?

Yeah, for sure.

It just... Uh, hey, it really
sucks you didn't make JV this year.

Oh, yeah, uh… [scoffs] You
know, it is what it is, right?

[chuckles] I mean, actually,
I'm pretty close with Coach G,

being team captain and all.

If you want, I could
talk to him for you.

Wait, seriously?
Would you do that?

Yeah, why not? Like I
said, you're a good guy.

Yeah. Well, that'd be awesome.

- Consider it done.
- Thanks.

- Oh, hey, by the way, um…
- What's up?

Principal Kinney, she
thinks the whole meme thing,

it-it violates the school's
anti-bullying code.

Yeah, I might miss a few games
this season. Can you believe that?

Yeah, uh... Yeah,
that sucks, man.

Yeah. Honestly, I just...

I only did it to make the
other varsity guys laugh.

[chuckles] You should hear
the kind of stuff they say.

It's way worse. [chuckles]

Hey, you know, I just
thought of something.

Since I'm gonna talk to Coach G for you,
what if you talk to the principal for me?

You could just let her know that
we're friends and, uh, I'm a good guy.

- All right?
- [bell rings]

Listen, uh,

- I should probably get to class.
- Yeah.

I don't wanna be late.
So, talk to you later?

Yeah, sure. See you, Jin.

- [knocks]
- Come in.

[Jin] Hey, uh, Coach G,
do you have a minute?

I heard about the raccoon in
the storage unit. I'm on it.

Uh, no, it's about the
soccer team, actually.


Jin, hey, come on in.


I wanted to apologize about what
happened at tryouts last week.

You mean when you
tackled Travis?

Right, yeah, that.

Uh, I think I just wanted it so
much that I kind of lost my cool.

Jin, I'm the coach
of the soccer team.

But do you know who the
real coach in life is?

Are you gonna say Jesus?

No. I was gonna
say, "our mistakes."

Yeah, right, sorry.

Look, I know you're going
through a tough time right now.

I saw that whole protest thing
out there, and I do feel for you.

My only question is,

can you take that frustration
and turn it into motivation?

Yes. Yes, Coach.
Yes, I can. Uh, 100%.

Whatever you need, I
can carry the weight.

It's funny you mention weight.

I asked the school board
for a new equipment room,

and I think they
misunderstood me.

Because they gave me a new room but
didn't actually buy any new equipment.

You think you can help
me set things up in here?

Yeah. Yes, sir. Coach, I'll
get started right away.

[strains] So, what I'm gonna d...
I'm gonna start with the lighter ones

and move my way up to the
heavier ones, and that's my plan.

Great. And if you're motivated enough
to get things done by this afternoon,

maybe we can chat about
the last spot on the team.

Go Cranes.

[gardener grunting]

[squealing, chewing]

[in Mandarin] Pigsy?

- He must be here for the Staff.
- [grunting]

[in English] Favorite album.

Blaze of Glory.

New Jersey.

- Favorite song.
- "Lay Your Hands On Me."

[sighs] "Santa Fe."


When I was younger, my
friend had a bootleg CD.

- That song sounded like America.
- [laughs]

How many times have
you seen them live?

Simon. Really?

It wasn't so easy
where I'm from.

But it's okay. I have my car.

What a shame.

The shows back then
were really something.

Young. Alive.

You felt like a god.

Young enough to dream big.

- [laughs] That's right.
- [Simon chuckles]

Speaking of dreaming big…

As you know, I've been with
this company for ten years...

Before I forget, you have to hear
this cover band I found online.

They're called You
Give Love A Band Name.

They're genius.

Yeah, uh, great.

Um, but I've been wanting
to ask you, John...

I'm glad we made this connection,
Simon, before it was too late.

- ["Santa Fe" playing]
- Too late?

I mean, before I'm
not around anymore.

You know that I'm retiring
next month, right?

- No, I did not.
- Yep.

Have to admit, I'm
pretty excited about it.


Thank you.

[glasses clink]

[music continues]

[grunting, pants]


Jin! Jin! Um, hi. Uh,
I've been looking for you.

Look, if you haven't noticed,
I'm a little busy here.

Yeah, okay, but I just
want you to have this.

What? No, dude, I already
told you. I don't want that.

Jin. Just take it.
It's important to me.

- Why are you so upset at me?
- I don't know, dude.

Maybe I'm not into being called
out in front of the entire school.

I don't understand.

The people in Culture Club said you
would like it if I spoke up for you.

Yeah, of course they did,
because they're using you, dude.

Everyone else is laughing at
you. So, if you don't mind,

- I gotta move some weights.
- [sighs] Jin, let me help you.

No, dude, I think
you've helped enough...

H-How are you doing that?

[equipment clattering]

[electricity crackling]

[pants] Seriously?


Did you talk to
your coach today?


You'll do another
tryout next year.

Yeah, I just… [sighs]

…just thought this year
was gonna be different.

That's all.

You used your voice, Jin.
That's all that matters.

It's how you get what you
want. It's where your power is.

Next year, huh?

I'm ready to make my statement.
That was loud, sorry.

When do you wanna say something?

How about right now?

Clear the table.

Excuse me, everyone. I'd
like to make an announcement.

[students chattering]

I'd like to make a statement!

[chattering stops]

So, uh…

You guys probably
already know me, right?

There was that video of
me going around last week,

with me and the meme from that
old TV show Beyond Repair.

I know a lot of people felt
like it was offensive, so…

Wanted to kinda address that.

I don't wanna tell
anyone else how to feel,

but, personally, I thought
it was just a harmless joke.

What the hell is he doing?

- Trying to be Vin Diesel's dance track.
- It didn't really bother me at all…

- What?
- Exactly.

…how to feel.

But I think that we should all just
move on to more important things

like saving the polar bears or why
we only get pizza boat twice a month.

- Together we can overcome.
- [student] Yeah! [claps]

[students murmuring]

Oh, and, uh, one more thing.


Greg Wallace is a good guy.

He's a friend of mine,

and... and I honestly don't believe
he was trying to offend anybody, so…

Yeah, that's it. That's
all. Thanks for listening.

Um, go back to your protein
shakes or whatever you kids…

[chattering resumes]

Okay. Uh, excuse me,
I'm gonna just hop down.

- [host on radio, speaking Mandarin]
- [door opens]

- Home early?
- Mmm.

Are you going to tell
me what's going on?


Guess what happened
yesterday at work.

I'd rather not.

I found out my boss, John…

he loves Bon Jovi.

[chuckles, speaks English] Okay.

[in Mandarin] All these years…

I finally connected.
We talked for hours.

And what about your promotion?

He can't do anything.

He's retiring in a month.

It's too late.

[stammers, sighs]

You really don't see it, do you?

See what?

[chuckles] You can be so dumb.

John retiring means there's
a position opening up.

This is what you've
been waiting for.

- How can you not see it?
- [sighs]


Run the division?

Why not?

I've never even considered that.

Yes, you have.

You just never believed
it was possible.

Okay. I'll say it for you.

"I can be the boss.

I'm experienced and qualified.

I can do this."

[speaks Mandarin] Hmm?


What's for dinner?

Let me help you.

[in English] Hey, uh,
Coach. You wanted to see me?

Uh, look, let me call you back.

- [handset settles in cradle]
- Hey, Jin.

So, it turns out the fire extinguisher
was hung in the wrong place,

which the insurance company says is
the district's fault and not ours.

In other words, you lucked out.

But, also, thank you,

because now they have to
build me a new equipment room.

That's amazing. Oh, do you want me
to help set it up? 'Cause I can...

No, no. It's okay.
I'll do it myself.

The real reason I
wanted to talk to you

is to tell you I appreciated you
coming to me to ask for another shot.

Showed guts.

- Really?
- Yeah.

Also, one of my varsity captains said
you showed a lot of promise at tryouts.

He seems to really
believe in you.

Tomorrow, 3:30. Don't be late.

Yes, sir. You got it.

[Suzy] How's it feel?


To take your whole community
three steps backwards.

Suzy, I did everything
you asked, right?

I made my statement, so
what more do you want?

You sure that was a statement?
Or was it a soccer tryout?

Look, Suzy,

I know I'm not the brave, heroic
spokesperson that you want me to be,

but honestly, I just wanna be a
regular guy who does regular things

like hang out with my
friends and play soccer.

Look, it's hard
to speak up, Jin.

I know that.

But… [sighs]

…there are a lot of people out
there who don't have a voice,

so it's up to people like
us to speak for them.

I disagree with your decision
today, but I respect your honesty.

And, by the way, why would
you wanna be a regular guy?

[Pigsy grunting and chewing]

- [in Mandarin] Pigsy.
- [grunts]

You little thief.

Someone needs to
teach you a lesson.

[grunting, shouting]

Look! French fries!

[Pigsy grunting]


[in English] You
gotta be kidding me.

[grunting continues]


[both grunting]

- [grunting continues]
- Wei-Chen?

- [metal clangs]
- [screams]


[grunts, speaks Mandarin]



[Pigsy grunting, squealing]

- [Wei-Chen grunting]
- [Pigsy squealing]

[Pigsy groans] You win! You win!

[squeals, groans]


[Jin, in English] Wei-Chen?
What the hell? [groans]

[grunting continues]


[in Mandarin] If my
father couldn't stop me,

you won't either.

[speaks Mandarin]

I'll come home when
my quest is complete.


- [sighs]
- [Jin groaning]